Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Year of the Vuvuzela, Phillip & A Busy Political Zoo

Tshepo Tshabalala

The snnual university protest march at the beginning
of the year scared away a few first year students
 as it turned violent with police and extra security personnesl
being called to assist .

It was a year of great achievements, all sorts of animals prowling the political scene, attempts to muzzle the media, striking public servants and Phillip. Nobody has met Phillip but the word on the street says he is on his way to Brazil after his success in South Africa. Oh, and so came 2010 to end after the final whistle of the FIFA world cup saw Spain winning the tournament.

 At the Tshwane University of Technology it was an even more eventful year with an expected student strike right at the beginning of the year. Journalism students were not making it easy in the Soshanguve campus as many of them came with their Model C demands. It was clear that some were scared and fearful and the disruptions saw the journalism department lose at least two students but the rest of them eventually became accustomed to TUT’s ‘traditions’. Those who left were soon to find out that protest marches happen at almost all major universities in the country and the grass is not always greener on the other side.

February saw the launch of this blog, Journ’tau. After just a few months of its existence Journ’Tau received a nomination for Best Group Blog in the Media24 Annual Blog Awards. That was quite an achievement for the first year group, some of whom had never touched a computer before entering the gates of TUT. This is to show what university education can do for one.

Many watched the world cup's first game
 and Siphiwe Tshabalala'sgoal on open air fanfare parks
around the country. 
The world cup is undoubtedly the biggest undisputed highlight of year and my cousin, cough, Sphiwe Tshabalala’s opening goal against Mexico signaled a month of partying and celebrations all across the world.

All roads will lead to Brazil in 2014 which has also started receiving the European media pessimism South Africa endured for the six years leading up to the end of the 2010 football world cup. South Africans were just angry at them as they knew that nothing would go wrong as the country has always believed negative publicity against our beautiful nation is often an exaggeration. 

A big number of TUT students were volunteers at the stadiums across the country while others worked for private companies such as the Host Broadcaster Services, HBS. Students received good reviews. Many others were working in respective media houses to bring news and information to the people.

Australians were waiting for South African preparations to fail and were always claiming to be Plan B even after FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, had said that South Africa was his plan B and C. Australia could not even get the world cup in 2022 as it has been awarded to Qatar, I guess they will be waiting as plan B yet again as they only received a single vote in choosing the host country. The 2018 showpiece will be in Russia, a country that disappointed some of its European rivals in the voting process.

During 2010 I learnt that politics is fun. The political zoo has a lot of animals as we discovered with a myriad of insults that were constantly being thrown around in 2010. We heard of ‘hyenas’ in government, ‘coakroaches’ in opposition parties which must be killed by Doom and a ‘monkey’ from Britain who allegedly killed his wife thinking that South Africans were stupid enough to buy his stories.
Britain also brought us a ‘bloody agent’ with ‘rubbish in his trousers’ when Julius Malema lashed out at a British journalist for asking a question during a press conference.

Juju got his mojo when fans on social networking site, Twitter, decided to dedicate a Friday to him. This came after Malema made a threat to shutdown Facebook and Twitter because it allowed imposters to use his name. Media attention seekers will soon become a career on this land re: Khanyi Mbau and applause to Debra Patta for a shocking night of investigative journalism on 3rd Degree. If you only have government television and e-TV, you were left blank as to identify the investigative part of that show as others continued the debate on pay TV. Oh Top TV launched earlier in the year, went quiet but is still claiming it has subscribers.

Outside the political arena we discovered pork chops, swines, sausages and bacon on the side of the road. They were all discovered by Twitter’s pigspotter. His face is not really publicly known but some have criticized him for turning commercial with his T-shirts. The person known as the pigspotter informs the public of places they can find traffic officers carrying out road blocks, trapping speedsters and searching for drunken drivers. On a 5FM interview he said his main problem is that they take bribes from motorists rather than doing their job in an honest manner. The pigspotter is still tweeting and the police are still looking for him, it seems they want to make bacon out of his meat.

The word vuvuzela is a new addition on the Oxford
Dictionary and made it to second place on the
New York Times.

2010 was also a year of famous quotes with the most popular one coming from the enews channel’s, Chris Maroleng, with ‘Don’t touch me on my studio’ which has prompted 5FM to come up with their, ‘Don’t touch me on my summer’ campaign. There are even ‘don’t touch me on my studio’ T-shirts in circulation. Chris Maroleng must be proud of his repeated error.

Police Commissioner Bheki Cele became a pop star after his rant about the image of police officers. He said they need to shape up and get a ‘stomach in/chest out and people must just envy your body as you walk’. The quote with Cele’s voice was turned into a House song.

The word 'vuvuzela' was named second on the New York Times list for Words of the year and it made it into the Oxford Dictionary. Fans of Canadian popstar Justin Bieber are called beliebers and addicted couch potatoes is no longer a term to be used, 'sofalising' should make the dictionary soon. Can’t wait for 20elevators or is it elevate us? It sounds cheesy I know.

1 comment:

  1. What a year hey?! Phillip is gone and will be missed and it's amazing that South Africans made plans around 2010 and now 2010 is gone. I believe Durban should get the olympic games so South Africa can again have a year to make plans around. Amazing year. You left out the state president. His year didn't start in a great manner at all but he was the biggest political winner in the end with infighting in COPE and the IFP, the toilet saga in the DA and the ID being almost swallowed up by the ID. I guess SA still continues to be a one party state as opposition parties cannot sort themselves out. What a year?!